Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Thoughts on Extreme Couponing

It appears my trepidation about Extreme Couponing was justified. While some of what was shown makes perfect sense, a lot of what was shown will likely cast couponers in a bad light. Let me share a few of my thoughts about this special with you:
  • Donating items you can get free (or very inexpensively) is always a great thing to do. I do it myself. I don't buy 1100 boxes of cereal, but hey...that's just me. If you can pick up an item for free, consider getting it, even if it's a brand you don't use. Food banks need donations now more than ever, especially on non food items.

  • Only buy what you need for 3 months. Unless it is a screamin' deal, don't go overboard. There will always be a similar deal approximately 12 weeks down the road. Buy what your family can realistically use for 3 months at a time. There is a fine line between stockpiling & hoarding.

  • Show others how you do it. Give a coupon to someone in a store if you aren't using it. Be generous not just with your donated goods, but with your couponing knowledge.

  • You can save money on healthy items using coupons! If I had a dime for every time I heard "there are never any coupons out there for things that are healthy" I would be so rich I wouldn't need to clip coupons (HA!). My family primarily eats only organic products. We almost exclusively use eco friendly cleaning products. Yet we save anywhere between 25-40% utilizing coupons.

One thing I want to make very clear is this: You do not need to devote 70 hours a week to couponing. That's insane. I write a coupon/bargain blog & I don't spend that much time on it. The very notion is both laughable & disturbing at the same time. Suggesting you need 70 hours to coupon does a disservice to anyone starting out because it will likely prevent them from starting.

Along the same lines, put your couponing in perspective. When I first started, I quickly got hooked on the thrill of a deal. A few months into my couponing adventures, I got sick....really sick. Like, in bed for 2 weeks, some of the days are a foggy memory because of the fever & medicine type sick. However, I do remember being slightly panicked a few times because I was wondering "What type of deals am I missing?" I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that. So take it from me, the sun will continue to rise even if you miss a deal. I promise!

Lastly, I debated on whether or not I should take any of the people featured on this show to task or not, but I'm going to do it. This is my blog, & I'm going to call 'em as I see 'em. Here goes: Amanda, shame on you! You would rather spend time running to stores for 1 deal than spend time with your husband or friends? You buy 40 years worth of toilet paper, yet you mention nothing about donating anything to charity? You purchased over 200 boxes of pasta, which you brought home to your own stockpile, rather than donating it? Now more than ever food banks need donations, & yet you have $15,000 worth of stockpiled items in your home. You have a $35,000 insurance policy on your stockpile. I'm going to call a spade a spade: You're being selfish. And a little crazy.

Amanda, now that I'm done chastising you, I implore you to seek help for your addiction. You seem to have a compulsion to shop; it appears you will never be satiated. Your comments "the bigger it is, the better I feel" about your stockpile or "when I look at my toilet paper, the feeling it brings to me is absolute joy" make me question your reasons for couponing. Is your self worth based on the size of your stockpile? Please, please, please consider seeking the help of a professional. You deserve to live a healthy, happy life...regardless of how many tubes of toothpaste you have.

If you have any thoughts about Exreme Couponing, I'd love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment here or over on BMIM's Facebook wall!


  1. I was actually embarassed for these people. I cannot imagine spending that much time or effort on coupons. I do love the "high" I get from getting free or near free stuff but that was just insane. However I do see that TLC was showing us extream cases not the average couponer. It's like the hording shows they show the worst of the worst. TLC should do a show about coupons for the average person and follow a different bloggers shop each episode. Giving every one a real chance at this. If I didn't understand couponing already I was be totally turned off by it because of this show.

  2. I agree that a show about how to save money clipping a normal, healthy way...would be much more educational. Probably not as entertaining, though (at least, that would be the producer's assumption).

    I think the public would tune in to watch how ordinary people save 50% on their grocery spending a few (say, 2-3 hours a week), clipping coupons.


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